From 1961 until 1973, The Bullwinkle Show poked absurdist fun at the Cold War between the West and the Soviet Union, but this big-budget, special effects-filled attempt at a family comedy came years after the end of those political tensions, and the torpid humor consequently falls flat. Robert DeNiro, who also executive produced the film, mugs shamelessly as Fearless Leader, even deigning to spoof one of his own best performances in Taxi Driver (1976) in a lame attempt at a laugh. Almost always entertaining, the talented Jason Alexander does his best with the role of Boris Badenov, but there is simply no material with which the actor can work. The same goes for newcomer Piper Perabo, who recalls the talents of Julia Roberts with her dazzling smile and efforts to force as much energy into a colorless, mirthless role as the film will allow. But it's all for naught. Much of the charm inherent in Rocky and Bullwinkle's original adventures was in the crudeness of their milieu and the novelty of cartoon characters breaking the fourth wall. Bringing them into the cynical, ultra-ironic modern era with the aid of cutting edge visual effects was probably a bad idea from the beginning, and audiences stayed away in droves. Fans of the original material won't be surprised to learn that the funniest scenes in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000) involve cameos from comics Jonathan Winters and Janeane Garofalo.
by Karl Williams review